Lawmakers summon CBN, DISCOs, over alleged misappropriation of $321m, N18bn electricity projects loans

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to provide clarification over alleged mismanagement of loans amounting to US$321 million and N18.2 billion allocated for projects aimed at expediting the development of transmission and distribution interfaces, lines, and substations.

The summon was issued by Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Bamidele Salam while Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), appeared before the committee in Abuja on Thursday

They were asked to appear before the committee on Wednesday, November 8, 2023

This development followed a petition addressing the purported misallocation of funds that the CBN had allocated to the DISCOs at the behest of TCN.

Speaking on the details of the inquiry, Salam insisted on receiving detailed information on loan disbursements, procurement processes, the involvement of DISCOs in the projects, the current project statuses, and the loan repayment terms for the beneficiaries

Salam stressed the crucial need for public institutions to adhere to legal and international best practice standards, coupled with the responsible management of financial resources.

During his committee appearance, Abdulaziz made it clear that the funds were sent directly to the DISCOs by the CBN to support the execution of various projects in order to repay the loans using TCN’s generated revenue

He explained that there was a gap in the electricity sector, leading to complaints from distribution companies regarding the inadequate supply from TCN

He claimed that financial institutions and regulatory bodies, including the CBN and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC, played a role in funding and supervising these projects.

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